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Document 4:
Citizenship education network lifts off

The Cultural Diversity and Citizenship Education networking function will produce an outline for a scoping document on citizenship education activities to be expanded and widely circulated after the election.

About 100 people from Parliament, government, education and culturally diverse communities will participate in the Monday 22 August function at Victoria University hosted by the Centre for Citizenship Education (CCE) in association with the Race Relations Commissioner, New Zealand Diversity Action Forum, Kiwi Ora and vicbooks.

This takes up the recommendations in Parliamentary select committees’ chaired by Hon Peter Dunne MP and by Tim Barnett MP supporting citizenship education, says Anthony Haas, Director of the Centre for Citizenship Education. In particular, in respect of the way ahead for citizenship education, it is suggested the Ministry of Education’s leadership might, after this election, bring together appropriate people around the proposed scoping document, to advance citizenship education policies for New Zealand. Such people might be involved in any one of a number of institutions and groups he says.

Outline scoping document

As a very first step CCE has produced an outline simply setting out a range of activities which might usefully be amongst those included – to which interested people have already begun to add value. At this stage CCE would welcome any further comments, possibly offering amendments, additions or deletions to the draft introduction and aims available at http://www.decisionmaker.co.nz/cce/indexcce.html. Email: ahaas@decisionmaker.co.nz

Many groups involved

The function, on the eve of the New Zealand Diversity Forum at Te Papa on 23 August, is designed to help bring together people in Parliament, central and local government and education who are interested in the development and distribution of citizenship education resources.

Participants are expected to include elected representatives and senior officials from central and local government, strategists, policy analysts, diplomats, teachers, researchers, students, journalists, authors, editors, publishers, librarians, booksellers and people with a range of religious and ethnic backgrounds. They are associated with parties in Parliament; former Parliamentarians; Electoral Commission; Ministry of Education curriculum, teaching, learning and social studies; SSC information and communication technologies; DIA citizenship services; NZIS Settlement services, and regional settlement strategies for Auckland and Wellington regions; Local government at national, mayoral, council, intercultural relationships, governance, cultural and social wellbeing levels; Race Relations processes, and New Zealand resident Maori, Pakeha, Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, Iraqi, Fijian, Samoan and Tongan individuals and community organizations; Office for Disability Issues; Ministry of Culture and Heritage historians; Interfaith dialogue processes; migrant education; health promotion; multicultural education; social studies and history teaching; VUW School of Government, policy studies; political science, Treaty of Waitangi research, applied cross-cultural research; religious studies; Business New Zealand; workers education; futures studies; book marketing and distribution; new media publishing and consulting; UNESCO cultural and educational programmes; NZAID Pacific programme for strengthening governance; Australian and Japanese diplomatic missions.

Networking is crucial

The format for 90 minutes will include mingling and brief invited perspectives introducing needs and responses, and suggestions for the draft scoping document.

Speakers include Haami Piripi, CEO, Maori Language Commission; Anthony Haas; David Zwartz, Immediate past chair, NZ Jewish Council; Nadia Fawzi, Intercultural co-ordinator, Wellington City Council; Melino Maka, Chair, Auckland Tongan Advisory Council; Deborah Hart, Board member, Wellington Hebrew Congregation; Dr James Liu, deputy Director, VUW Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research, Raewyn Stone, Project Chair, Auckland regional Settlement Strategy; Ian McKinnon, Educational consultant, Wellington and

Joris de Bres, Race Relations Commissioner.

“This may advance a dialogue to scope ways more might be achieved together after the election - a collective search for the way ahead. I hope the networking will contribute to useful work being done - and foster a whole of government approach to policy development, professional development and publishing in the field of citizenship education” says Anthony Haas.

The draft scoping document proceeds on the assumption New Zealand is a pluralist democracy with a small and relatively well educated population, good communications and an active media. New Zealand has a number of loosely defined cultural communities, and a stream of immigrants, all contributing to its inclusive national identity. “Though other countries will have different priorities, the broad aim of citizenship in this country should be to explain, especially to the young and recent arrivals, the structures and procedures of Parliament, the law, central and local government” the draft scoping document suggests.

Useful teaching resources

We will also introduce the Directory on Citizenship Education, launched this year at http://www.decisionmaker.co.nz/directories/diversity/index.html. The Directory, a partnership project with the NZ Diversity Action Programme, leads to other citizenship education resources that will be helpful to those involved in and with our various communities, says publisher Anthony Haas.

The sixth edition of the DecisionMaker Guide to Parliament and Government is also in preparation at www.decisionmaker.co.nz. Anthony Haas is discussing the detail with participants ready to update or add to past editions. This will be released after the election, initially online.

The Centre for Citizenship Education is itself a not-for-profit, Wellington-based NGO. It can provide advice or assistance to government institutions and local bodies (especially those concerned with immigrants, refugees, the welfare of minority communities or general and local elections) as well as to education authorities and a variety of other organisations. It can arrange for the publication of appropriate material on paper, online or in selected other media as required. It maintains a website http://www.decisionmaker.co.nz/cce/indexcce.html which offers useful materials, such as on policy and practice. It welcomes partnerships to develop existing and new citizenship education publications, policies and professional development. It has links with similar institutions overseas.

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Updated 17 August 2005


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